10. Gone with the Wind (1939)
9. Nashville (1975)
8. The Gold Rush (1925)
7. Mean Streets (1973)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s film about low-level New York Mob hoods is still the director’s greatest exploration of crime, rock & roll, Italian-American manhood, and the wages of sin. The ”Be My Baby” opening credits may be the single most electrifying use of pop music in Hollywood history.
6. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Directed by Frank Capra
In Capra’s eternal holiday classic, James Stewart gives one of the best big-screen performances as a small-town good guy who learns what life would have been like without him. The movie is really about how hard it is for us to see the magic of life as we’re living it.
5. Psycho (1960)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
The granddaddy of all slasher films (as well as the most profound horror movie ever made), Hitchcock’s famous thriller takes the revolutionary step of killing off its heroine (Janet Leigh) halfway through, all as a way of placing the audience in the mind of a madman (Anthony Perkins).
4. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
3. Casablanca (1942)
Directed by Michael Curtiz
WWII movie perfection. Hollywood’s most celebrated love story was made as just an average studio pic but now exemplifies old-movie magic. Story, lighting, music, craftsmanship, and every glance between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman resonate with a magnificence that even the brashest studio mogul couldn’t have predicted.
2. The Godfather (1972)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Coppola’s tale of crime and family is the most mythic cinematic landmark of the past half century. It heightens Mafia violence into a metaphor for American corporate ruthlessness, presenting Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone as the grandest of movie criminals — a monster we revere for his courtly loyalty.
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
Directed by Orson Welles
One word: Rosebud. It’s still the greatest movie of all time. Telling the story of a newspaper tycoon based on William Randolph Hearst, the 25-year-old genius Orson Welles poured his own swaggering, larger-than-life soul into a tragic and exuberant American saga of journalism, power, celebrity, idealism, betrayal, and lost love. No matter how many times you’ve seen Kane, it always feels like the first time. That’s because Welles’ filmmaking remains spectacularly alive: The thrill of invention is there in every shot, every performance, every breathless narrative surge.
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